• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the contribution of sociologists to understanding the ways in which the media portray disability and age.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Kim Dale Examine the contribution of sociologists to understanding the ways in which the media portray disability and age. Sociologists are interested in discovering how the disability and age are represented in the media because they want to find if these representations truly reflect life of the disabled and aged or if they merely create views for the public to absorb and use to effect. I will deal with the issue of disability within the media first. Research conducted by sociologists such as Cumberbatch and Negrine found that disabled people were predominately portrayed as figures that we should pity, and the media do present stereotypical and stigmatised views of the disabled. Longmore (1987) found that the disabled were seen as dependant, maladjusted or even evil, this can be seen in such cases as 'Chris' in "Emmerdale." They are also portrayed as being courageous and heroic for coping with their 'misfortune'. On the video 'Disability Portrayal' they expressed that, "Documentaries deal with the disabled as medical cases, sick and pathetic and have to be looked after. Not seen as equal T.V. reflects social reality. The biggest disability is bad practice attitudes and environment and not the physical conditions." ...read more.

Middle

Adult influence shapes them. > Children have an innate nature that is not easy to change > Children are naturally good Recently children have been portrayed in several roles in recent media coverage. Children as victims of sexual perverts e.g. paedophilia on the Internet and these are from "good, normal families." Also children are seen as " bad and uncontrollable" who are violent and disruptive within school, they are from disruptive, dysfunctional families" with "bad parenting." James and Prout (1990) see children as underdeveloped adults who are developing their own social world and culture. This may or may not work antagonistically with that of their parents and other adults but rather develops separately and is more self-contained. Television producers have recognized this and instead of presenters that are older like an aunty or uncle they have presenters that are only slightly older than themselves like an older brother or sister. A good example of this would be programmes such as Blue Peter. Geoffrey Pearson in Hooligan (1983) argues that while images of youth are predominately negative this is usually contrasted in the media with The Golden Age, where young people knew their place and there was less crime because people respected the police. ...read more.

Conclusion

Older actors were less likely to be perceived as good but were also less like to be involved in violent roles than younger characters. Approx. 70% of older men and 80% of older women were judged and held in low esteem and treated discourteously. Finally Biggs (1993) produces 5 trends in the representation of ageing: > Significant numbers of middle-aged + appear in prime-time soap operas. > Sitcoms in particular feature negative portrayals of 'doddery' old age. > Reverse stereotyping can occur such as Victor Meldrew. > Recent representations have shifted towards a more active view of the elderly. > The problems of age such as ill health and poverty do not tend to receive regular or prominent attention. In conclusion sociologists overall seem to agree that the media has a significant effect on the way we portray the disabled and ageism. From the evidence I have collected I feel that the media create rather than reflect on the images because if it wasn't for the ideologies and preconceptions that we have acquired from the media then we would have a neutral view of disability and age. If education on disability and age was better and people were more informed of their situations then they would be able to refute the images portrayed in the media and we would not have the stereotypical views that we possess today. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Media essays

  1. How is Crime represented in the Media

    For the cases examined, the age and background of the victim and location of the offence were most frequently perceived as influencing the level of media coverage. Not all offences, however, attract the desired level of press interest. Methodology Secondary Research Above is a graph of the level of Crime in the last 25 years.

  2. Moral Panic and media folk devils.

    In the 1960s, Bandura showed a film of children being violent to dolls to another group of children, who were then given the dolls themselves. He found the children tended to imitate the violence on screen. Criticism. The idea that people watch a television programme or film, and are

  1. To what extent do media representations of refugees and asylum seekers limit their integration ...

    All of these words have negative connotations. The first three words present refugees and asylum seekers as deviant and criminal, whereas the next three words imply that the individuals referred to aren't really seeking asylum due to persecution in their homeland, but have come to the UK to improve their economic status.

  2. How Do The Media Influence Understanding Of Nature and Effect of Crime?

    Traditionally, all media and telecommunication companies, in most countries, were partially if not fully owned by the state and were therefore funded by the state. However as a result of the liberalization of the business environment and the changes in regulations, the commercialisation and privatisation of many media companies has occurred.

  1. Free essay

    In what ways television affects

    The genders of the children being used are varied so I will be using five boys and five girls. The children all come from the Borough of Newham of East London. It is easier for me if the children are living in the same borough there will be an easier

  2. I am going to examine how mass media representations of homosexuality have changed over ...

    He is made lovable with his childlike humour and his flamboyancy. Even though he is often the butt of most jokes, we usually laugh along with him. Even though the two characters are very different, they share one similar trait, they are gay and proud to be so.

  1. My investigation is based on the issue 'should gay men be allowed to adopt'. ...

    Ultimately the contemporary family is more diverse. Today, more than in the past, gay couples are more widely accepted, but there is still a longstanding taboo hanging over the idea of two men bringing up a child. This is less so where there are two women, because they do not need to adopt, and people also believe

  2. Does violence in the media effect peoples behaviours and opinions?

    The Cultural Effects Theory develops the ideas of those presented in the Two Step Flow Model to a greater extent. These suggest that the media effects are not instantaneous, but are a slow build up of beliefs and values, 'much like bringing a kettle to boil'.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work